Phonemic and Semantic Verbal Fluency in Sex Chromosome Aneuploidy: Contrasting the Effects of Supernumerary X versus Y Chromosomes on Performance.J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2018 10; 24(9):917-927.JI
Past research suggests that youth with sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) present with verbal fluency deficits. However, most studies have focused on sex chromosome trisomies. Far less is known about sex chromosome tetrasomies and pentasomies. Thus, the current research sought to characterize verbal fluency performance among youth with sex chromosome trisomies, tetrasomies, and pentasomies by contrasting how performance varies as a function of extra X number and X versus Y status.
Participants included 79 youth with SCAs and 42 typically developing controls matched on age, maternal education, and racial/ethnic background. Participants completed the phonemic and semantic conditions of a verbal fluency task and an abbreviated intelligence test.
Both supernumerary X and Y chromosomes were associated with verbal fluency deficits relative to controls. These impairments increased as a function of the number of extra X chromosomes, and the pattern of impairments on phonemic and semantic fluency differed for those with a supernumerary X versus Y chromosome. Whereas one supernumerary Y chromosome was associated with similar performance across fluency conditions, one supernumerary X chromosome was associated with relatively stronger semantic than phonemic fluency skills.
Verbal fluency skills in youth with supernumerary X and Y chromosomes are impaired relative to controls. However, the degree of impairment varies across groups and task condition. Further research into the cognitive underpinnings of verbal fluency in youth with SCAs may provide insights into their verbal fluency deficits and help guide future treatments. (JINS, 2018, 24, 917-927).